Devotional 207: Take Heed, All You People

1st Kings 22:13-23

13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”

14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.”

15 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?”

“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”

17 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’”

18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”

19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’

“One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’

22 “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.

“‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.

“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’

23 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”

Unholy things and people know when they’re in the presence of holiness. The witch of Endor rebuked King Saul (1 Sam 28: 9-12). The legion asked Jesus if he came to torment them (Luke 8:28)

So it was with Ahab and the prophet Micaiah, even though Ahab had already humbled himself before G-d in the presence of Elijah after the word he received (1 Kings 21:20-29)

Even as Micaiah did what Ahab’s messenger told him, Ahab knew it wasn’t the truth (1 Kings 22:16) because he knew through Elijah’s word that G-d’s prophets were holy men. It’s interesting to see that even after he asked for the truth, Ahab still allowed him to be punished for it when Zedekiah struck him, then mocked him (v. 24) much like the Romans did to Jesus (Luke 22: 64).

As this was done in the presence of witnesses, Micaiah tells all the people there to take heed of the true prophecy regarding Ahab’s fate.

We are told by Jesus himself that false prophets and teachers will be even more plentiful in the last days. John advises us to test to spirits to see if they are from G-d, that we might discern the lies of those who would presume to speak over own lives. (1 John 4:1)

Let us make sure we take heed in the presence of holiness, that we might learn the truth for ourselves despite all who’d tell us that which we’d rather hear. As some modern day preachers and self-appointed prophets, ‘apostles’, and others abandon the preaching of sin and repentance, the cross and resurrection, the giving of grace and the coming judgment when the one, true, sovereign G-d destroys evil and rids Creation of death for all eternity.

Therefore I pray:

Father in Heaven

As sinners under grace, so prone to temptation, backsliding, and rebellion, You have sent prophets to us that we did not receive, or perceive at the time. We did not listen, even when they told us they received a word from You. We ignored them to our eternal peril.

We do not test their spirits because we don’t meditate on Your Word, or put our faith fully in You, and like the unholy we cry out and lash out at the rebuke we receive as a result.

There are trials we’ve endured that were of our own making because we listened to what we wanted to hear, and not what we needed.

Forgive me, Father, for the times I’ve ignored Your Son who told me what is to come if I continue down a sinful path, for it’s impossible to please You without faith, and to love You without keeping Your commandments, and obeying Your instructions as You order my steps to Your purpose, for Your glory.

Help me to know there are two things of which I can be assured, and the choice is mine: 1- My salvation is sealed by my faith in the cleansing blood of Jesus, and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit who guides me on the narrow path, that I might be free from sin.

2- You have given all judgment to the Son, whose verdict is not only just, but final. I would not have Him spew me out of His mouth with the words, “Depart from me. I never knew you.”

From this day on, I will take heed of the truth, whether or not in the presence of the assembly, for Your Spirit witnesses to mine, and gives me what is the Savior’s, who has given to us what is Yours, that I may be reconciled to You and my sins not only uncounted, but forgotten.

May Your Word be sealed to my mortal heart, that my eternal soul might dwell in Your Kingdom, now and forevermore.

Amen.

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